Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This Monday, I packaged up all my wine and moved them to a friend's place for storage. I'm very grateful to this friend, for offering a safe haven for my babies. My cellar is all empty now, with the exception of 4 bottles of white wine, 4 bottles of red wine, and 2 bottles of Colheita Port.

The temperature and humidity levels in my house just were terrible. It was too hot already, and was prone to wild fluctuations. Something had to be done, or I would have had a cellar of very expensive balsamic vinegar.
I had a few boxes I saved from my Vintages purchases, but not enough. Went to LCBO to get a few more, and came back with 8 boxes, enough for 120 bottles. About right - it sounds like a lot of wine when I tell my friends I have around 100, but really, for wine drinkers, it's pint-sized.

I had to record everything in my inventory notebook, to make sure I knew exactly how many were going away. Then, into the box, where I wrote on the top side the names from left to right. Because if I were to pull a few bottles, I don't want to empty the entire case to find the right one - I need to exactly which slot it's in.

I put away all my 2005 Bordeaux. I still have a few lots that I havn't received yet, which I've been told will arrive in late summer. The ones I put away are:

2005 CH. Rauzan Gassies
2005 CH. L'Arrosee
2005 CH. Coutet
and a few other Bordeaux from other vintages.

After I had packed up about 8 cases, I turned around to see this:

Still more work to do. In total, it took me nearly 3 hours to record, store, tape, and label everything. In the end, I had 10 boxes of wine ready to move.

The move was successful, not too back-breaking. I did all the lifting. 10 times, up and down those stairs. Just can't be too careful. Overwhelmingly, my bottles are French, Bordeaux and Champagne, with a number of Sauternes. But I'm starting to accumulate some nice Niagara wines as well. The one thing I'm going to work on next - German and Niagara Rieslings.

Now, I'm all out of wine. I probably won't touch anything until at least Christmas, at which time I'll hopefully have a job and be able to double the number of bottles I have. I still have the CH. Mouton Rothschild at home, as well as the 1980 and 1981 Kopke Colheita Ports. Looking forward to opening them very soon. Finally, my wines are now able to rest and begin developing their magic.

Some outstanding wineries

As I said earlier, we visited 11 wineries in Niagara, tasting 88 wines. We got a pretty comprehensive idea of the kinds of wine the region is producing, so here is each winery broken down. Just wish I had pictures, but don't worry - they will be up soon.

Thirty Bench Wine Makers

This was a first estate of the day, and we had a tour booked. Great view, looks directly over the vineyard and we can see Lake Ontario in the distance. First was a flight of Rieslings. I've tasted the 2006 Thirty Bench Reisling in the past, so really looking forward to this. As expected, they were phenomenal. Absolutely stunning in clarity, purity and focus. Lovely piercing acidity, this is not a wine for flabby drinkers. My favourite was the 2006 Small Lot Riesling "Steel Post" Vineyard. Wonderful minerality on the nose, which follows in the palate, complemented so well by the bright citrus and acidity. All the white wines share this amazing finish, tight and crisp, but so long and elegant. Class in a glass.

Of the red wines, I have to say they were unspectacular. Good wines, mind you, but unspectacular. It was unfortunate that we weren't able to taste the Pinot Noir, which had sold out. But I enjoyed the 2005 Benchmark Red. Complex and nutty on the nose, it had nice grip and weight. What was also special was the 1995 Riesling Icewine we were served. This is by far the oldest icewine I've tasted, and it still holds up quite well. The sweetness is more controlled, more focused, and you still have the lovely stream of acidity to balance it out.

Walking around the vineyard, the soil is a lot of heavier soil, clay. All this rain can't possible be good, but then again, it's still early in the growing season. Let's hope for a dry and sunny July and August, otherwise there will be trouble.

I'm writing a lot because this was such a magnificent producer. What a wonderful surprise. Beautiful wines, honest wines. The whites definitely stand out; by far these are the finest Niagara Rieslings I've ever tasted. The only question is - how well do they age? As long as we have these kinds of producers in Ontario, then our wine industry is in good hands. Magnifique!!

Fielding Estate Winery

I've never tasted this wine before. Going through all the wines, the wines seem a bit too soft for me, but nonetheless, are delicious. The 2006 Riesling Icewine Reserve stood out. Taut acidity, nice fruit, a more measure sweetness. Good balance.

Cave Spring Cellars

Again, a new winery for me. We tried a lot, but one wine really stood out. The 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, VQA Niagara Peninsula. This is the unoaked Sauvignon Blanc - they also make an oaked one. I always disliked heavily oaked wines period - you really need to strike a very careful balance, especially with white wines. This bottle was fresh, crisp, and most importantly, had such varietal characteristics. You lose so much of the delicacy when you overoak. Wonderful.

Flat Rock Cellars & Malivoire

What more can I say about these 2 producers, except that they are exceptional and my favourites. The Pinot Noirs they make are very close to my heart. Wonderful to see the evolution in their vintages, as these are fairly young producers. Friendly and knowledgable staff, unpretentious. These producers are true to the land and are really the benchmark that every other Niagara winery should set themselves against. I can't wait to taste the 2007 Pinot Noirs from each estate.

Lailey Vineyard

We had another tour booked here. We were taken to the vineyard. More of the heavy clay soil we say earlier around Beamsville in west Niagara. Introduced to some of the customary pruning techniques of a vineyard. I love walking in vineyards. That to me is the most important part of a wine. I love nothing more than to be in the soil and vines. The spritualness of being surrounded by what will eventually transform into wine is........indescribable.

Tasting barrel samples was quite another experience. We were given barrel-fermented chardonnay samples to try, which was still sur lie. Some old vine chardonnay samples were also drawn for us, which was so delightful. Minerally and stony, it just washes your palate with a light creaminess, but the finish just cleans out your palate so well. We also tried some 2007 Pinot Noir from the barrel. Still very raw, the tannins are long, hard and quite excellent. Tasting barrel samples is so different - it's the texture you should focus on. I really want to taste the 2007s in bottle, but obviously, they still have some more time to go in barrel. Wonderful strawberry and red fruits in the mouth, such a transcendant acidity and tannic structure.

Finally, we tried samples from bottle. Lailey is doing some really interesting things with red wines, especially their Syrah. So spicy, obvious black pepper on the nose! I've never smelled so much black pepper on any syrah. Wish it was a bit more integrated, than in your face, but certainly an interesting expression.

The rest of the wineries we visited, I won't mention too much about. Nothing really stood out. Sure, everyone was friendly, with the exception of one, but I'm not going to talk about that. Learned my lesson to keep my mouth shut.
So, if you're planning a trip down to wine country, make sure you visit these wineries. The only one not in Beamsville is Lailey, which is right on the Niagara Parkway, 2 minutes outside of Niagara-0n-the-Lake Main Street.
If anyone still thinks that Niagara can't produce quality wine, you've obviously never tasted any good wine before, and you're just being ignorant. I understand the perception, especially if all you've had is that cheap, mass-market shit. But take time and try these small, artisanal producers before you pass judgement. I guarantee you will change your mind.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Niagara, in detail

Let's get to it. Overall, I was very impressed once again by the quality of all the wineries we visited, and of the Beamsville region in general. A lot of honest winemakers who believe in nurturing the land in a natural, traditional way.

By far, this was the most successful of my trips down to Niagara wine country. We visited 11 wineries, tasting 88 different wines. We came away with a better and clearer picture of the direction that this region is going, and definitely learned a lot.

It's clear that the strength of Beamsville is in its white wines. Riesling wines are the best I've tasted outside of Germany and Alsace. As a matter of fact, all of the wineries we talked to stated that their inspiration for Riesling was Alsatian wines. No one mentioned German rieslings, although the styles are similar. I suppose this owes to the region's stronger French influence.

The Rieslings were taut, crisp and focused wines, featuring high acidity, minerality and lengthy finishes. The best examples were wonderfully pure, and had great varietal characteristics.

We also tasted some great Chardonnays. The best examples also showcased crisp acidity, as well as subtle buttery/creamy textures on the palate, all complemented nicely by bright fruit flavours. The worst were overoaked, excessively buttery and flabby wines. Apparently, some winemakers still are not lovers of subtlety.

Of the red wines, I remain skeptical of the quality of the Cabernet blends. I just don't think this area is well-suited for Cabernet. Just can't get them ripe enough. With the exception of Marynissen, I don't feel anyone else makes a presentable Cabernet. Well - Thiry Bench had a fantastic Benchmark Red blend that I found quite complex and interesting.

We tasted some wonderful Pinot Noirs. Now, I've been going on and on about how great Niagara Pinot Noirs can be. Definitely, this trip just confirmed that in a perfect world, this is the red wine that everyone in Niagara should be working on.

As a whole, I have to say that while Niagara wineries are producing better and better wines, I still think they have a long way to go. The problem is expression. Can the wines express their regional typicity? Can we get to the point where I can drink a bottle of wine that is unmistakably from Niagara? These things take generations to achieve. The majority are still experimenting with technique and process. That's the hard part - deciding how to vinify, choosing when to harvest, which oak to use.......simply installing the latest technology and equipment won't do.

I'll post detailed impressions of each winery when my friend makes the pictures available to me. I can say that with the exception of two wineries, the other 9 that we visited were all special. All very unique, each specializes in the type of artisanal, low-yield wines that I love.

Again, I'll repeat that I really believe in this region. Niagara is able to produce really special northern climate white wines, as well as Burgundian varietals. It'll be interesting to keep following this area as it grows. When we can finally begin to talk about Niagara terroir, that's when I'll know that this region has grown up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Niagara, briefly

I don't have a lot of time, so I will be brief. Our trip to Niagara yesterday was amazing, and again I came away amazed at the development of the region.

Undeniably, the whites all sparkled yesterday. There's no doubt that the region produces transcendent Rieslings for sure, as well as some good Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. As for the reds, Gamay and Pinot Noir stood out. But then again, each producer had a unique style and flair, that really can't be summed up in a general statement.

Tomorrow, I'll write up a more complete set of thoughts and observations. I'll go through our tasting methods as well as impressions of each specific winery we visited. There was a troubling aspect in one of the tastings, which I'll describe. Otherwise, it was a successful trip.

We engaged in a lot of dialoge with the wineries, and we gained a lot in terms of their philosophies and methods. I learned a lot, and this definitely was my best trip up to wine country yet. I'll also post some pictures of our visit, which I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Niagara wine tour, June 2008

On to more happier things. I just finished planning out a wine route for a trip up to Niagara again with some friends. I have a list of 10 wineries to visit, and I've booked tours at 2 of them. Should be extremely interesting and educating.

We will be visiting:

Thirty Bench Wines
Angels Gate Winery
Fielding Estate Winery
HIdden Bench Vineyards & Winery Inc.
Malivoire Wine Co, Ltd.
Tawse Winery
Featherstone Estate Winery
Cave Spring Cellars
Thirteenth Street Wine Company Corporation
Lailey Vineyards

We have tours at Thirty Bench and Lailey. I've had wines from both estates, and I've enjoyed them both. Really exceptional character to these wines.

With the exception of Lailey, all the wineries are located in Niagara West, or the Beamsville Bench appellation. I really believe that this area produces the best wine in Ontario, perhaps even in Canada. Really hoping to get out into the vineyards and taste their entire lineups. Hopefully I'll be able to get some dialogue going, and get a feel about the philosophy behind each winery. Please check back for my thoughts when we get back!

Australian garbage

I wrote a few days ago that I had one bottle of Australian red wine in my cellar, a bottle that my father had bought a few years back. It was a 2003 shiraz/voignier blend, from a well-known producer. Won't name it, because it honestly isn't worth it. The 2006 vintage sells for $27.95. From what I remember, we bought our bottle for around $30.

The particular cuvee did have a cute name - "The Laughing Magpie". To me, this just reeks of corporate marketing bullshit.

I was hoping that this wasn't going to be a generic, overriped, monstrosity of a wine. I was so wrong. It was inky, black, dense, thick - all the things that scares me. The alcohol was chokingly overwhelming. Huge fruit, that saturates everything. Alcohol that hides the tannins. Disgusting.

This wine falls apart very quickly. These is no cohesion, no integration between the components. It quickly breaks down into this hideous oakiness and bitter tannins. So much extract, it's like you're eating jam.

There's no character to these wines. And that's what pisses me off. About New World wine in general. This is not for eating with a meal. This is a cocktail wine, for those yuppie pricks who think they understand wine. THIS IS NOT WINE!!!!!!!!!!!

This garbage is vile and has no soul. If this is the direction that wine is going, then I'm going to lose my f*cking mind.

Finals embarrassment

I've been watching the NBA Finals pretty closely, and after watching Game 6, I'm kind of disgusted at the Lakers. Not just with Bryant, but everyone on that team. It was just a disgusting show of bad body language, bad attitudes, and a slap in the face to their fans.

How do the Lakers make barely 40% field goals and only have 2 boards? How does Gasol only get 7 shot attempts? And how does Bryant disappear after an amazing first quarter? You know what this is? This is a pathetic lack of effort. It became very clear after Game 1 of the series, and I'm quite surprised that the Lakers won 2 games at all.

Originally, I had the Lakers win in 6. I was so wrong, especially thinking that Bryant was going to go off for 50 at least twice in the series. The man has demonstrated that on the biggest stage, in the biggest games, he is not a leader. How does someone with so much talent cruise through such an important game like that. There were several sequences when all 5 Lakers were spectators. Go after the damn ball!

I don't buy any of that shit about Bryant leading by example and being a much better leader this year. If he really wanted to inspire his team, attack the rim, pick up a few hard fouls if you have to - just do something. Don't glare and bitch at your teammates for screwing up, after you've overhandled the ball so much that there isn't much of a play to run anymore.

Gasol was equally as disappointing. I've never seen a bigger pansy. He's the kind of guy with great offensive talent, but no leadership and no sense of responsibility. It's his game - when he turns the ball over, he makes sure to point at a teammate, to make it clear that it wasn't his fault. He pointed at Odom for passing the ball into his thigh. He blamed Bryant for not lobbing the ball high enough. Shut up, get back on defense, and make up for it the next possession.

The league really is going to hell. You have marquee franchises full of whiny, overpaid, soft ballhogs, who show up to collect a paycheque. There really is no more concept of team, for a game that is more team-oriented than any other sport. Let's call it as it is. Bryant will never win a championship without a big brother to kick him in the ass and be a true leader to the team.

Oh, and I got this picture of the championship parade in Boston off of a page called Barstool Sports. Totally made my day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Champagne Gardet

I enjoyed a wonderful bottle of Champagne with some friends over the weekend. It was a small producer, non vintage brut. I was happy because I was able to open the bottle without wasting a single drop.

Champagne Gardet Cuvee Foudres Selected Reserve, $44.95. The producer ages it for 2 years in barrel, and then another 3 years on the lees, for its secondary fermentation. This longer aging gives it more character, which is quite noticeable. This is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier.

I love drinking sparkling wines in regular tulip-shape wine glasses. I find it expresses and opens up the wine much better than a flute. A flute is nice to look at's what happens in the nose and mouth that counts. This wine was so, so yeasty on the nose. Lots of citrus, yeast, toasted breads on the nose. Nice acidity on the finish, maybe we should revisit this wine with some more bottle age. But very delicious, extremely unique and very, very rich.

I really want to start exploring these smaller Champagne producers. I think they produce wine that is much better than the luxury brands. I just don't see how Veuve Clicquot can justify charging $80 for a bottle. I just can't see it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rias Baixas

I know the purpose of this space isn't to give tasting notes, or any of that nonsense. But lately I've just been having some interesting wines, wines that are very new experiences to me. One of them was a Spanish white wine, from Rias Baixas.

2006 Agro de Bazan "Contrapunto", DO Rias Baixas Albarino. This wine is made from 100% Albarino. Beautiful golden colour. And the nose! What a glorious nose!! Full of honey, spice, tropical fruits, sweetness. It has an uncanny resemblance to Vidal icewine. In the mouth, it is gloriously silky with a racy acidity, and a long, spicy finish. Delicious, just absolutely delicious.

This was my first bottle of Spanish white wine, and I am in love with the region already. It just confirms all I know about Spanish red wines - that this area produces rich, interesting, complex wines. I can't wait for my next bottle!

Opening Champagne

How do you open a bottle of Champagne, or for that matter, any sparkling wine, without wasting any of it? I cringe every time I see someone shooting the cork open, wasting half the bottle in the process. But I know it's possible to do it in a more civilized manner.

I'm really starting to fall in love with Champagne. I love the complexity of the wine, how great it is with food, and just the history and traditions behind it. It's such a shame that the vast majority of people don't understand it, and therefore waste it.

I succeeded last night. I guess the trick is to have the bottle standing upright on a table. Turn the cork slowly. Make sure you apply pressure downward. I havn't figured out how to slowly ease the cork out yet, because the pressure of the bottle is just too powerful. I let it pop out loudly but if you avoid obstructing the neck of the bottle, the gas escapes. I think that's the trick to not letting the wine bubble out of the bottle.

The day before, I opened a bottle of sparkling wine from Chile. When I removed the cork, I held it against the opening of the bottle too long. The gas couldn't escape, and it sprayed the wine everywhere. I was almost ready to start licking it off the ground. I hate wasting wine.


I'm now a graduate of the University of Waterloo.

It was a long, rough 4 years. I learned some things, became more independant. Most of my happiest memories of university were the times I spent with friends.

Our convocation ceremony was great. At first, I though it was just going to be like all the other graduations I've been through. But there's so many traditions and ceremonial aspects to it. It turned out to be quite special - I even got a bit emotional hearing our Dean read out the names. Kneeling before the Vice-Chancellor, all I could think goodness, I did it. All the late nights, all the stress, all the uncertainty. It was all worth it.

I guess I have to parents, all my roommates, my buddies. And myself. Thanks so much to my buddies who came to take pictures and celebrate with me. I can now honestly say I have a degree in Economics!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Need help drinking

I organized my closet yesterday. I had a couple dozen bottles still in cardboard boxes that I had put away at a friend's place. Brought them all back, and it was like opening a birthday present - I had totally forgotten what a lot of the bottles were.

One bottle that stood out was a 1999 Domaine Huet Brut, AC Vouvray. A sparkling wine from the Loire Valley, from Chenin Blanc grapes. Look forward to opening that sometime soon, perhaps to celebrate my graduation from Waterloo. Purportedly, this wine can compete with Champagne in the best vintages. For some reason, it amazes me whenever I find a vintage dated sparkling wine outside of Champagne.

A few more bottles that stood out were a couple of white Burgundies, some interesting St. Joseph's, as well as a bottle of Australian shiraz/voignier, which no doubt my father bought. I am NOT taking responsibility for that bottle.

In the meantime...I bought a few bottles of Champagne from LCBO's last release. A couple of more obscure Champagne houses I suppose, but all from Grand Cru villages. I always look out for blanc de noirs Champagnes. I just love the character of pinot noir.

I'll see, but I'm interested in exploring German rieslings more. The reason? I've had some experience with them in the past, but lately I bought a few bottles from an LCBO release, bought as futures. Balthasar Ress released a vertical of Rheingau rieslings from 1982-1999, so it really was a great chance to taste mature white wines. I bought bottles of:

1982 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau
1983 Winkler Jesuitengarten Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau
1986 Hochheimer Kirchenstück Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau

Havn't received word yet, but extremely excited and anxious to receive these bottles. That's why I want to drink as many Rheingau rieslings in the meantime as I can, so I can get a better sense of what this region is about. Now...if only I can win the lottery, that would solve all my problems. All of them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A pair of stunning Niagara pinot noirs

I'm happy to report that I've finally set up my tv I brought back from Waterloo in my basement. So finally I have a place to chill and watch tv in peace. Anyways, it also gave me an opportunity to quietly enjoy and contemplate a pair of Niagara wines that I found truly incredible. Just incredible. I had a bottle of each on consecutive nights, and while both were unique, they showed a surprisingly strong sense of place and regional typicity. And by the way, I apologize for these truly atrocious pictures. The blame belongs to my cell phone camera.

The first bottle I drank was a 2004 Inniskillin Montague Vineyard Pinot Noir. This is a wine produced from a single vineyard, called Montague. And although I know a lot of so-called single vineyard wines are barely mediocre, I've always loved this wine. Definitely the best in Inniskillin's portfolio, and only available at the winery. I know people who love Inniskillin's icewines will disagree with that statement, but I stand behind it. I absolutely feel that this pinot noir shows much more regional characteristics than their icewines ever will.

The wine was a beautiful light ruby. I don't understand the misconception that a lighter red wine is somehow of a lesser quality than something more deeply coloured. This is an intense wine, and when I drink Niagara pinot noir, this is what I'm looking for. Incredible strawberry and this nutty, smoky quality. Unmistakable Niagara pinot noir. Just unmistakable - if you appreciate pinot noir from the Beamsville Bench and Twenty Mile Bench appellations, you will adore this wine. Fine tannins, underlined by a racy acidity, which finishes so smooth. The question of ripeness, however remains. I think ripeness might be more of an issue, in terms of tannins. A bit bitter on the finish. Just an incredible wine, and something that I think can age for a few more years. I really think it'll develop more earthy flavours, as the acidity makes it so lively. I have one more bottle left, the key is patience. What a delicious wine!

The second bottle was a 2005 Mommessin "Les Caves", AC Moulin-a-Vent. This is from the Beaujolais AOC of France. People think Beaujolais, and they think about cheap wines. Untrue - well, at least not completely true. The marketing job on Beaujolais nouveau has been magnificent, but the cru Beaujolais are fantastic wines. They're more artisanal wines, with more character and depth. Nouveau wine is alcoholic grape juice. Cru Beaujolais is wine.

Originally, I wanted to open a 2005 Lailey Vineyard Pinot Noir. I was in the mood for another pinot noir from the Niagara Peninsula. But then, I wanted a Moulin-a-Vent. It's made from the gamay grape, and is often mistaken for pinot noirs. And what a lovely complement to the Inniskillin pinot noir! Fresh, crushy fruit, all underlined with an earthiness that I love so much. This sense of soil and herbs, and just a beautiful subtlety to the wine. A much more "complete" wine than the Inniskillin. But the influence is unmistakable. Unmistakable. If you drink these blind, you would swear they were the same producer, using the same grape. To me, I thought the Inniskillin was absolutely delicious. But the Mommessin is more interesting, with more character and greater subltlety in structure.

I fell in love with the Inniskillin all over again. So intense, rich, fresh...this is the kind of wine that Niagara producers need to start focussing on. Pinot noirs that showcase the land, the region. I need to drink the Lailey again to make sure, but for now this is my favourite wine from the Niagara Peninsula. What I find this region is lacking however, is a more stiffer austerity, from the acidity. Compared with wines from the Beamsville Bench and Twenty Mile Bench, this wine feels a bit flabby. I suppose it's a result of manipulating to be softer - wines with harder acidity are difficult to appreciate for the casual consumer. In my opinion, malolactic fermentation is too frequently used as a crutch, to correct for under-ripeness. But then again, what do I know.

If you havn't tried these wines, please find a bottle of both. They're not that expensive - $25 and $20. If you still think Ontario red wines aren't worth it, you will definitely be surprised by the quality here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Distillery District

Last week, my buddy took me down to Toronto's Distillery District. It was my first time - yes, I realize how little I know of my city. It was scorching hot, the sun was blazing, but the day was perfect.

By the time we got down, I was starving. Which was exactly what I wanted to do down there - eat and drink. We found a place called the Oyster House and Grill. It was nice, not very busy, and visiting Nice taught me the joys of eating outdoors.

I ordered a 2006 Thirty Bench Riesling. This was my first bottle of wine from this producer, and once again, I was amazed at the quality of some of the wineries from the Beamsville Bench appellation. No doubt what made the wine even better was the glasses that it was served in. The restaurant had wonderful short stem, big bowl Riedel glasses. The wine had a clean, tight nose, wonderful fruit, and most of all, that characteristic Beamsville Bench acidity. Such raciness, it completely cuts your palate in a straight line, absolutely none of that bloated nonsense. Delightful. Definitely will have to visit this winery the next time I'm up in the area.

For lunch, I had their garden salad and a pan-seared tilapia. Beautifully cooked, fresh, and absolutely delicious.

Back home, for dinner that day, I opened a bottle of 2005 Creekside Sauvignon Blanc. It was the bottle that I bought in Niagara in February. $13. Different, and obviously, this winery takes a different approach in their wines. A lot softer, but still contains some varietal characteristics. A bit too mellowed out, no doubt to sculpt the wine for a wider range of consumers.

So there you have it. The Distillery District was a lot of fun. Had some fantastic wine, and that beer we had later was great as well. They make this organic beer that is delicious. Nutty and crisp. I should drink more ales, really want to tune my palate towards that kind of flavour profile. The Boddington's Ale I remember having was eye-opening.

Mulberry wine

Just to make sure you know what I'm talking about, I took some pictures of that homemade mulberry wine I was talking about a few posts ago. It was perfect - take some pictures and drink some of it too.

I decanted this time. With air, it takes on this menthol, ripe berries aroma. The bitter chocolate and candied cherries remains, but it takes on a freshness, and an almost cooling sensation in the mouth. Just delightful.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hand me a drink

Have you ever been in a situation where you're almost driven to drink? Where something or someone drives you so crazy that (in my case) you just want to uncork a few bottles and chug away? Well, I'm in that situation now.

Keep me away from the Bordeaux I just received.